BUSINESSMEN AND LAND PURCHASE IN LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY ENGLAND

Tom Nicholas

 

Nuffield College, Oxford University

 

Abstract

This paper compares the value of landed and non-landed wealth held by a group of nineteenth century British businessmen. Landed wealth is estimated from the data in John Batemanís Great Landowners of Britain and Ireland. Non-landed wealth is documented in probate records. Quantitative evidence shows that businessmen who owned land in the late nineteenth century did not retain a large proportion of their wealth in landed assets. In that sense they were rich because of the personal wealth and not because they were landowners.